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Inexpensive Gift Ideas and Tips




There is no reason to go broke buying gifts for family and friends. Planning ahead and making gifts yourself helps to save a great deal of money. Here are some thoughtful yet sensible gift ideas and tips.


1. The Entertainment® Coupon Book:
This coupon book is filled with local & national coupons that the owner can use for movies, restaurants, sporting events, travel, gasoline, and more! It makes a great gift and literally keeps giving all year long because everyone loves to save money. Order 2013 Book Today and Get 20% Off!

Also, try giving them a coupon for restaurants.


2. Gift Mixes in a Jar: Easy to make and inexpensive. If you buy these at the market they can be very expensive, but they are much cheaper to make. Just about anything can be made 'in a jar'. For instance: Milk Bath in a Jar, Hot Spiced Wine Mix in a Jar, Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar, French Vanilla Cocoa Mix in a Jar, Red Beans And Rice Mix in a Jar, Cinnamon-Oat Pancakes in a Jar. The ingredients can be altered to make low-fat, low-salt, or diabetic mixes. You can order Gift Mugs from a top website in Customizable Gifts - Zazzle.com


3. Theme Gift Baskets: Baskets can be bought throughout the year at garage sales and flea markets, then painted and decorated. The jar gifts above and many other items can then be added to the baskets. You could use other containers as well such as flower pots, decorative bowls/boxes, cooking pots, jars, storage containers, or baking dishes. You can use anything that will hold the goodies. Here are a few of my favorite theme basket ideas:
Chocolate Lover - cookies, covered popcorn, nuts ...
Sports Lover (example golf) - tees, balls, towels, gift certificates ...
Italian - pizza mix, pasta, olives, sausage roll, cheese, wine ...
Fruit & Nuts - buy local fruits & nuts and arrange with candies ...
Coffee - coffee beans, coffee liquor (homemade), cappacino mix, cups ...
Bath/Body - homemade lotions & gels, perfume, salts, soaps ...
Candle - containers, holders, wicks, wax, oils ...


4. 'Love' or 'IOU' Coupons: Make a book of these coupons, or give one at a time. Click here a list of Free Printable Love Coupons.


5. There are many other free items that can be printed online and given as gifts: pictures, recipes (to make a cookbook), calendars, coloring books, cards, and stationery.

6. Buy gift certificates on Ebay. You can get really awesome deals! There are 1000's of gift certificates for Target, Walmart, Starbucks, movies, & more for pennies on the dollar! Find half-price restaurant gift certificates here. Just print and send! A great deal!


Mrs. Fields Gifts, Inc
7. Make your own 'of the month club'! Give someone the gift of Cookies of the month, Beer of the month, Movie of the month, Coffee of the month, etc. You can use the printable love coupons above to make a coupon book or gift certificates.


8. During the Christmas holidays, if you have a large family or everyone seems to be low on funds, suggest a gift swap drawing. This way you don't have to buy for everyone, just one person. Here's how it works: Each person's name is placed into a hat, and everyone draws a name. The names can be kept a secret, or made known (sometimes it's more fun to do it secretly). A variation on this theme is to let the women buy for women and the men for men, or couples for couples, etc. You can also set a price limit for the cost of the gift.


9. Scented Soaps - Buy bulk glycerin soap and your favorite essential oils (on sale of course). Melt the glycerin soap and add oil. Pour into molds. Unmold and wrap. Examples: Cinnamon, Lavender, Almond, Coconut. Some other items to add to soap: Oatmeal, flower petals, colored soap chips, loofah sponge.


10. Ideas for gift wrap - Add small items to package along with or instead of bows. Here are some examples: candy canes, pine cones, Hershey's kisses, cinnamon sticks, bells, sachets, beads, & mistletoe. Homemade printable gift tags are also a nice touch! For more gift wrap ideas visit one of these sites:
a) Care2.com
b) YouthOnline.ca
c) FamilyCrafts.com
d) About.com - Interior Decorating
e) BoalArt.com -Creative Wrap Art - Use leftover wrap!

You can also read our Blog on
** a) Gift Ideas for Men **

** b) Engagement Party Gifts **
** c) Bridal Shower Gift Ideas **
** d) 1 year anniversary gifts **

11. Recycle last year's cards at:
a) Allfreecrafts.com/christmasbox.htm
b) MakeStuff.com ideas - www.make-stuff.com/recycling/greeting_cards.html
d) Small gift box - http://wintertexans.com/crafts/recycle_cards.htm
e) HomeSchoolZone.com ideas = http://www.homeschoolzone.com/pp/crafts/old-xmas.htm
f) Make a Victorian style ornament - http://www.crochetpartners.org/Patterns/CPpat105.html
g) Easy recycled holiday cards - http://www.newhomemaker.com/hands/crafts/recycledxmas.html


12. Video Greeting Card - Make a video of the family and send to loved ones.......:)


13. Last Minute Holiday Hints and Tips:
* Scale back on activities to help reduce stress.
* Freeze candles before using and they will burn longer.
* Don't burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
* Have spare batteries on hand for kid's toys.
* Clean out refrigerator to make room for leftovers.
* If guests offer to help, let them. Don't try to do it all.
* While opening gifts, make a list to help with writing thank-you notes.
* Remove items around the house that can harm children or pets.


Homemade gifts are really nice - they come 'from the heart' and are extra special because someone actually took the time to create them.


To really save, stock up all year long. It's never too late to start. Always shop after the holidays to get inexpensive gifts for next year!


** Click Here to read Ideas and Tips from our Readers **

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